Second Half Surge Leads to SFA Win
Nov. 17, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Sophomore running back Gus Johnson recorded his second 200-yard rushing game of the season as Stephen F. Austin closed out the 2012 campaign with a 34-17 victory over rival Northwestern State Saturday afternoon in Nacogdoches, Texas. It is the fourth consecutive victory over SFA's rivals from the east, and equals longest stretch of consecutive wins over the Demons in program history (1983-86).
SFA jumped out of the gates quickly building a 10-0 lead. The 'Jacks scored the first points of the game when junior quarterback Brady Attaway found Aaron Thomas from three yards out to take a 7-0 lead. SFA appeared to push its advantage to 14 following a Gus Johnson touchdown run, but had to settle for a field goal after the TD was nullified due to a penalty.
Following the SFA score, the Northwestern State defense stiffened holding the Lumberjacks scoreless for the next 35:52. Northwestern State cracked the scoreboard at the end of the first quarter with a John Shaughnessy field goal to cut the deficit to seven points. The Demons pulled even when quarterback Brad Henderson hit Rod Davis down the middle on a 52-yard pass.
The Lumberjacks appeared to be driving for the go-ahead score just before halftime. SFA got the ball inside the Demon five-yard line, but time expired before the 'Jacks could punch it across the line and went into the locker room tied at 10. NSU tacked on one more score to take their first lead of the game, 17-10, with 10:01 remaining in the third.
SFA battled back to tie the game at 17 when Attaway found junior Kris Lott wide open in the back of the end zone. SFA reclaimed the lead only five seconds into the fourth quarter when Johnson scored on an eight-yard run. Johnson finished the night with 33 carries for 211 yards rushing.
Senior Cordell Roberson helped ice the game when he gave Lumberjack fans one more highlight by hauling in a 38-yard pass in traffic for a score. It was Attaway's third TD pass of the night, but more importantly, it was the 39th touchdown reception of Roberson's career tying him for 12th all-time at the NCAA FCS level. The Lumberjacks tacked on a field goal in the final minutes to close out the scoring.
SFA's offense finished the night with 533 yards off total offense, while the defense was impressive surrendering only 205 yards to the Demons. Attaway closed out his junior campaign with 37 completions for 326 yards, while Roberson finished his career with three catches for 55 yards and the score.
Junior Caleb Nelson led all Lumberjacks with 12 tackles, he was also credited with an interception and a forced fumble. Senior defensive end Willie Jefferson only had two tackles but both were sacks. He finishes his career with a total of seven sacks in only two games against Northwestern State.